Thursday, July 19, 2007
Posted by gjblass at 10:01 AM
Posted by Chismillionare at 9:48 AM
A life-size, robotic fly has taken flight at Harvard University. Weighing only 60 grams, with a wingspan of three centimeters, the tiny robot's movements are modeled on those of a real fly. While much work remains to be done on the mechanical insect, the researchers say that such small flying machines could one day be used as spies, or for detecting harmful chemicals.
"Nature makes the world's best fliers," says Robert Wood, leader of Harvard's robotic-fly project and a professor at the university's school of engineering and applied sciences.
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is funding Wood's research in the hope that it will lead to stealth surveillance robots for the battlefield and urban environments. The robot's small size and fly-like appearance are critical to such missions. "You probably wouldn't notice a fly in the room, but you certainly would notice a hawk," Wood says
Posted by Chismillionare at 9:27 AM
The nanoglue is made of 400-nanometer-wide silicone pillars covered with a polymer that mimics the adhesive proteins found in mussels. In addition to bandages, the new material could be used in drug-delivery patches and in adhesive tapes to close surgical wounds, says Phillip Messersmith, a biomedical-engineering professor at Northwestern University, who reported the glue in Nature this week.
Posted by Chismillionare at 9:25 AM
The cons? It comes loaded with a crapload of craplets and the same steam-era Intel GPU that was in the earlier model. Oh, yes, one last thing: $2,200.
Posted by Chismillionare at 9:18 AM
Posted by gjblass at 9:16 AM
Healthcare company Otto Bock, has just shown the newest version of its C-Leg (think about it). Designed for the armed forces, the C-Leg has a microprocessor controlled knee, which adjusts the hydraulic systems depending on the activity being carried out. It has a remote control to switch modes, including the new standing mode, which takes weight off the good leg.
One thing you can do with a false leg is to swap it out. Try doing that with your meat leg. Wired Magazine ran an article on Oscar Pistorius, a South African runner and double amputee who bolts on a couple of $15,000 carbon fibre legs and is almost fast enough to qualify for able bodied Olympic sprinting. Not bad.
So soon enough we'll see body enhancements, peripherals for humans. Let the cyborg reign begin
Posted by Chismillionare at 9:15 AM
While turbocharged direct injection certainly isn't new, Audi is introducing several innovations. The new engines will have piezoelectric common rail systems that deliver an injection pressure of 2,000 bar. They will also feature a more efficient exhaust gas recirculation system, which should bring a dramatic cut in untreated engine emissions, according to company officials. The motors will likewise feature combustion chamber sensors that enable a more precise regulation of the combustion cycle. The new TDI engines feature a "downstream ultra-low emission system," which reduces nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 90 percent. It operates on a biodegradable additive in the form of a solution called AdBlue. Tiny doses of this solution are injected upstream from the DeNOx catalytic converter. The ultra-low emission system as a whole comprises the catalytic converter, the metering module, the AdBlue tank and heated lines, as well as an extensive system of sensors. The engines will also include a separate two-way catalytic converter and an electronically controlled diesel particulate filter.
Posted by Chismillionare at 9:10 AM
July 19, 1963: Test pilot Joe Walker takes an X-15 aircraft to an altitude of 67 miles (106 kilometers), becoming the only pilot to surpass the 100-kilometer barrier in a rocket plane until Mike Melvill, piloting SpaceShipOne, duplicates the feat in 2004.
Walker, who flew P-38 Lightnings during World War II, became a test pilot in the early '50s and gained experience in a variety of research aircraft, including the Bell X-1, X-5 and Douglas X-3, which he said was the worst plane he ever flew. But he made his name flying North American Aviation's X-15.
Walker made his first X-15 flight in 1960 and was completely surprised by the plane's power, hollering, "Oh my God!" as the afterburners kicked in (and eliciting a joking, "Yes? You called?" from a ground controller). But he would go on to make 24 flights in the X-15, including the memorable July 19 ascent, known as Flight 90.
Breaking the 100-kilometer barrier also meant penetrating the threshold of space, so the flight qualified Walker as an astronaut. When he repeated the feat a month later, he became the first person to enter space twice.
Walker also recorded the fastest speed ever reached in an X-15: On June 27, 1962, he hit 4,104 mph, or Mach 5.92.
Posted by Chismillionare at 9:07 AM
Posted by Chismillionare at 9:06 AM